Brinson Claims AMCC Defensive Player of the Year

Brinson Claims AMCC Defensive Player of the Year

ERIE, Pa. – Penn State Behrend men's basketball junior guard Malike Brinson (Erie, PA/Central Tech) was selected as the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Defensive Player of the Year, while three others were selected to the All-Conference teams, announced on Tuesday.

Dan Wanker (Pittsburgh, PA/South Park) and Andy Niland (Fairview, PA/Fairview) were both second-team selections, marking their second and third All-Conference nods, respectively. Justin Gorny (South Park, PA/South Park) earned a spot on the third-team, posting his first All-Conference honor of his career.

Brinson was instrumental in helping the Lions maintain the number-one ranked scoring defense in the country with his defending on and off the ball, providing constant pressure on the opponents he matched up with. His 48 steals ranked him third in the conference, while his 1.8 steals per game was good enough for sixth in the AMCC. Throughout the season, Brinson drew a total of 14 offensive fouls.

This second-team honor marks Niland's third All-Conference selection, twice on the second team and once on the first team. Despite being injured for nine games, he recorded the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the conference (6.4), best assist per game ratio (6.4), the third most steals per game (1.9), second highest total assists (115), and seventh most total steals (35). Niland also shot 41.7 from three-point range for second best in the AMCC, shot 78.4 free-throw percentage for ninth and his 50.0 percent from the field was good enough for 14th. During the regular season, Behrend was 8-1 in conference with him in the lineup, where Niland saw only five minutes in the lone loss.

Wanker earned a spot on the All-AMCC second team, previously being named to the third team a season ago. The junior forward posted in the Top 15 in the conference in five different categories. Wanker pulled down the fourth most rebounds (186), sixth most rebounds per game (6.9), and made the seventh most field-goals with 138. Wanker was also ranked 10th with his 51.1 field-goal percentage, and 12th in points per game with 13.3, both of which were first for Behrend. He also led the team in double-figuring scoring performances with 21.

Gorny tabbed his first All-Conference accolade after being selected to them third-team. The three-point specialist posted 38.7 percent shooting from behind the arc on the year, good enough for fifth in the conference. He also made the sixth most three pointers (46) and 11th most total field goals (123) in the AMCC. Gorny notched a new career high in the AMCC semifinals, scoring 28 points on 5-of-8 shooting from deep, and tabbed career-bests in same game with field goals made and free-throws made in a game with nine and seven, respectively.

Behrend will host No. 4 Alfred University on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the ECACs.

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